James Walsh & Kristop Brown "We think about the beer that we want to make and work backwards."


The Brew Masters’ Story

Kristop and James met by chance. In the year of 1997 James needed a ride to Mardi Gras and Kristop had a car. Since that crazy trip to New Orleans they have been inseparable friends.
Both found ladies to settle down with, Jade and Michelle, had five kids between them (two for the Browns and three for the Walshes) all while sharing friendship, family memories and a passion for beer. 

James and Kristop both have strong backgrounds in creating tasty beverages. James’ experience comes from being co-owner of the Mudd Puddle Cafe and coffee roasters in New Paltz that he established with his wife Michelle 13 years ago. Kristop has been spending his time establishing himself as an award winning wine maker in the Hudson Valley.

The two friends began their journey of beer brewing by experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. With five kids running around, they took turns raising the heat on the mash or pitching yeast to a fermenter.  After they artfully shaped these recipes, they decided it was time to take their learning to the next level by attending professional brewing courses at the esteemed UC Davis Brewing School. Armed with their new found knowledge, they opened up the small brewery and have been enjoying the success of the fruits of their labor.

Now is the next phase of Yard Owl; a bigger location with a professional scale brewing facility and a tasting room for the community to enjoy.